Mike Badger – Collage and Tin Sculpture (2019)
Galleri Eklund proudly presents its very first exhibition with the British artist, sculptor and musician Mike Badger. Badger was born in Liverpool, England in 1962 and currently resides and works in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. He studied Art and Design at St. Helen’s College of Art near Liverpool (1979-81), however he essentially considers himself to be a self-taught artist. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout England. The exhibition Mike Badger – Collage and Tin Sculpture (2019) at Galleri Eklund showcases a wide array of his sculptures, collages and prints made over the past 25 years.
Whichever medium he utilizes, Badger’s creative process largely lies in the selection of raw material. Although this can be anything that the artist can get his hands on and manipulate, the material is selected on the basis of whether or not Badger considers it to have a powerful signal that speaks to him. He intuitively assembles different recycled materials such as images from newspapers, magazines and old wall paper. His sculptures mostly consist of cut open tin cans, as the artist finds the corrugated lines under the label of a tin can particularly appealing with a certain kind of overlooked shining beauty.
Badger has a distinctive punkrock attitude towards his art making, where the appeal of his sculpture and photomontage is the cheeky, rough and ready appearance. The collages, robots, boats, trucks and buses have seemingly sprung from the artist’s hands and are not meant to be too crafted, polished or artificial. Inspired by the directness of folk art and the likes of Marcel Duchamp and his readymades or the simple juxtaposition of images in John Heartfield’s collages, Badger says:
“The less I have do with the raw material, the better”.
Badger’s artworks are self-evident, in the best sense of the word, consisting of humble, recognizable objects or fragments of objects; where nothing is added unless need be. The artist’s elementary and playful aesthetics is inherently imbued with a certain totemic energy, rendering his work instantly accessible and understandable for a wide audience.